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tv   [untitled]    January 15, 2012 3:01pm-3:31pm PST

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the department of building inspection brown bag lunch series at the department of building inspection. i am the chief inspectionor and we're looking at a interesting topic today which is commercial signs in san francisco. everybody has a point of view. some people love them. some hate them. they have a meaning and an important part to play, so it will be a fun tour, and i have signs to show you and use as a base of discussion and westbou e your questions. we have two quests introduce. jeanine pab pabilsky and she's an artist and a cultural historian and the founder of "bureau of urban
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secrets". >> it was found #- founded in 2g the dot com boom and engage artists and helping us interpret the city and we have done about 25 art projects in the city, and the most recent project is still on going and historically document the experience of the statutes of jaun bastila and king carter of the third and founding of san francisco and then homeless and upcoming we have a project of landsend. >> artistic intervention. i
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love that phrase and we have scott sanchez from the planning department who is heavily involved in the sign issues. what are you working on now scott? >> we are launching the sign inventory so it's going to be an inventory of the advertising signs in the city and county of san francisco. we are getting inventories of sign companies and doing surveys. >> i understand that we are doing a city wide historical building inventory. are they linked together? >> no just for preservation and we will work together where we can. >> while you are out there i need some stuff i need to know. seriously once we are around looking stuff and we can populate the data base with other good information. that's great. we're glad to hav to yo we have a couple folks also here
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from sign america. thank you very much and i invited them to talk about the sign process. we have a lot of people here that know about signs. signs are such a big issue here in san francisco. i divided up the pictures and topics into four basic parts of the first is signs that advertise the commercial property for which they are located and here are the 500 club of the i think it's at 17th and valencia and somewhere in the planning department said
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and visible signs of represent and one of the things we really want to see and some people don't agree. i can share my point of view and you as well. another sien sign we're going tk at are the general advertising signs and corner of mission and 17th and r replace the other sign that was up there and hopefully an issue in the city and hopefully we can talk a little bit about that. another type of sign that you see are historic signs and signs that are both on buildings and in some cases those historic businesses are still in operation. do we still have abbert flap jacks around?
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me neither. and the fourth category is all the other stuff going on in the city and how are they regulated and what -- do we like them? is it a good thing? this is down in the mission and these folks are actually on a mural walk using a guide through the mission so let's start with the mateeny class. you can never have too many martinis? >> it adds to the day. >> okay. good. this is on the 24th -- i think bryant. the building code says when you build something with a permit and you're able to keep it unless the code retro activity
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changes. how old do you think it is? >> (inaudible). >> 50 years old. there is nothing retro actively that says that have you to remove a sign. is that correct? >> 24r was a case on there was a case on market street and we did it for signs and a couple had to be removed but generally no. once it's non conforming could remain until the end of the life of the sign. >> so generally that is the case with all building issues is that are you permitted to retain those that were properly installed with a permit unless there is specific legislation that says otherwise typically. is this a flag sign? is that what they call signs that stick out like that? >> projection signs. >> projecting -- projection signs and it's painted and neon
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and the required martini glass and you can see it's stabilized by wires to keep it from falling and the wind from pushing it side ways. the signs are regulated in the building and planning code and requires it for all signs and we will talk about what "all signs" means and does it include the sign that says "special summer sale" and the building code and the planning code goes into great detail of the requirements for signs. >> square footage and whether projecting on an awing. >> okay. this is market and valeensia and this is the sign and you can't have too many neon because i understand that you're allowed to have a sign on either face of a corner building. is that right? >> depends if you're going to
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have a business sign and the business is on one side of the building and could extend but not on that side unless the business was -- >> in this case they have a sign on this side and on the backside and then a flat area facing directly across to market street which is a third sign and with an interpretive issue whether they're allowed to have a sign on that, and that's where we said you can't have too many martini glass -- not a glass but a beautiful fish sign -- where is it? seventeenth in the portero area and here is one of the corners we're looking at, and what is interesting about this slide to me, and maybe you can share thoughts. it does not have the gigantic sign and there is no sign "this is the something kava".
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>> this is one of the exceptio exceptions. >> and this is interesting and you can't have too many martini signs in the city but there are neighbors that would say you could have too many bars and there is a sense of changing w e way people use the city and you look at the martini signs and imagine people kicking back with a drink at the neighborhood bar and a place that you felt at home and maybe you conducted business if you had that kinds of business to connect, and in a way in the city and a lot of that -- even though we like to drink has been replaced by the cafe and it has a different look and no one would say at this point that you couldn't have enough starbucks in the city and that as a meeting place has
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replaced the bar and how do they present themselves and how do we understand that starbucks may seem says intrusive but 50 years from now we will yearn for that and got the prozac at the corner dispenser rather than the cafe or the martini bar and how do the signs become a memory? >> and another old corner with a similar kind of design where it has the small window lines among the glazing and the reason they built these and the plate glass windows and typically have an awing and the window above would light it and the awnings would shade the produce and other things and if you're walking by
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there watch out she's about to throw the water into the gutter. >> is that a violation? >> she should clean the sidewalk. >> that is interesting too. there is a lot of discussion and you guys probably know more about this than me and the larger ceiling heights and more retail space and allows for the delightful space for sign space as well and the old lip ton tea signs are a memory of what the corner retail spaces could be like. >> right. these are separate signs that we have on the judda street, golden bear market is one side and painted on to the windows. are they considered signs by the planning department? >> they have the business sign
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and the amount of street footage dedicated to that and the square footage of all the signs together so we would calculate -- basically draw a box around the letter and the square footage. we don't regulate the content of the signs and general advertising signs, and when it comes to us a lot of them put it up like that. >> are the miller litte and corona signs in your view? >> they are allowed 1/3 or 25 square feet and advertising on the business sign and wheneve wr and can contain the seven up on there. >> is there a difference between an awing that is used with lettering on it and a general advertising sign for a specific business location? >> we consider general
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advertising sign the advertisement of a good, service that is not available on the premises or is only -- you know, more of incidental presence on the premise, so we consider anything general advertising meeting that definition. >> with a particular business with an awing lettering or identifying signs on the awing is calculated into the same calculation as determine whether they are using their allowable advertising for that location? >> right. for the business sign. when you can have the sign on the awing and that is based on the square footage. >> and one more awning question and i know they have talked about new guidelines in
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businesses in our district. do you know whether or not that is possible for the corner stores? >> we are working on a survey of downtown to develop sign guidelines for the downtown district. i'm not aware for that district. >> you mentioned that you don't regulate the content of general advertising signs. i am wondering what is there threshold of language and somebody say this language offensive, substandard. >> no. issues have been raised with various clothing stores but in terms of actual regulation we don't regulate the content. >> obviously lines of profanity. >> it then might go to a police issue but we wouldn't regulate it. >> about the sign and the aliens
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and big brouhaha and the board of supervisors took it up. >> i don't have information on that. >> yeah. i think part of it - >> down by the market street and i will pass it around and you can see that the office is totally covered with signs so this -- signs are not a new thing and there are more signs here than we have today and we don't have as many on the downtown buildings. >> i think part of that is in 1913 a city ofs a place of culture, commerce, and industry and the signs in a literal and metaphorical way were present in the city but we're debating now what cities are and sustainabl
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sustainablity and environmentalism and once you say that maybe signs are not a part of the city or unnatural or don't speak to the values of a non consumer oriented culture and make clear for example. i think this kind of notion and the notion of signs and beautification is also an issue. >> this picture shows both the general advertising. this used to be the buy it yourself casket company. you could beretail caskets. what a loss to the city. it says on the window for lease and there is a provision
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in the planning code when a business is gone the sign has to be removed within a certain lent olength oftime. do you know th? >> no not off hand and the business sign goes with the business and once it's gone not considered a business sign. >> and it's in the code and it says how long you have and i think 90 days and the business code says that as well. here is another one of the corner signs and it's interesting it's not a modern starbucks kind of institutional sign but independent individual sign and a great restaurant too by the way. here we go. we're in another district here. we have hand painted signs and in some ways around the city you see these signs and made by people
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rather than contacted out to the sign paren paint are but it coue the sign painter. do these count as part of it? >> generally they're painted on the window like that and you can have them in the city and the temporary signs and painted on. >> fascinating. on 24th street a new store and unfortunately displacing one of the old kind serving stores and up scale women's lingerie shop and i think it's called "pink" and i maybe the text is in pink. >> there is no text. what you see is what you get. >> i wonder how you calculate
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them into the area of the sign do you think? >> seems to be a symbol representative of the use and we would consider that as well. >> so the sign and not the lerling of the sign. >> the emblem. >> excellent. and illuminated and do you have different regulations? >> yes this is a indirectly imlum naited signs and we have different regulations. >> right and we have special permit requirements for illuminated signs and non illuminated signs as well, and this is one -- we have two forms and form four and seven -- signed permit forms and basically the same as other building permits and the owner's representative submits information and issued to the building owner and the sign
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permit as far as we are concerned is the property of the building owner and there are big court cases and issues and who owns the actual sign. the permit is always -- and the responsibility for maintaining the property including the sign is the property of the building owner. we have a question here? >> illuminated sign is same as neon sign? >> yeah and neon sign and illuminated and you could have something like this and light prosjected on the sign and that is indirectly illuminated. >> are there certain areas neon signs are prohibited? >> yeah and controls and residential sign and not allowed to have them. >> and (inaudible) and no signs. >> i can check the controls and it has its own for the north
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beach. there are certain a lawnessas in north beach whether you can relocate signs and if you can't reloathe a existing illuminated sign. >> we have an interesting array of signs here and signs that are both letters and become the whole store front facade and again i guess it's a challenge for the planning department and here is the sign and here is not sign. >> yeah and definitely when you have the graphics here that go along with the sign where do you draw the line? you have to look and see what is representative of the sign name and you would do that. >> the wasteland. a wonderful sign if you like that sort of thing. not everybody does. backside of portero i think.
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people come up with logos. this is one that i had to study for a long time before i could figure out the message here. it is such a special art and skill to have a clear message. sometimes you have these -- what is the message. >> are those flames coming out of -- >> yeah. the butler and the ship. >> and talking about commercial signs. is it only affixed to the building? for example where i live in nob hill area and they are putting signs in trees and digging into the ground and does that cover by building? >> when you have real estate it's exempted and whether on the building or the sidewalk. >> and these signs have been a
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big issue in the city. i don't think there is a resolution for the city what is enforced in the city. i know people complain and the police go out and public works and it's okay. move it. you always have to cleep the sidewalk clear. i think the minimum is 4 feet. is that right? i think you have to keep 4 feet clear and they are a problem. public works regulate that and the public right-of-way including the street and sidewalk. this is another one of the interesting signs where the message is -- it's a beautiful sign. this gold heart shrouded with a black item and what is the message? skate boards on hate. >> okay. we are running the border maybe what is considered
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art and graffiti and what could be a business sign. it's interesting. >> they know their clientele well and this is on mission street. i think this is an extremely elegant sign and almost never seen and often you see on buildings but designed tintoto be mixed that like thats unusual. what makes this interesting to me and the stand off and shadows that give it a second level of interest and detail. >> the depth and it's very clean. >> and those are all the signs when they hang around turn into the other sign and they're mo module and you can imagine a letter missing or rearranging them and something intended to -- and th


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